Yes I Did and I’m Sorry (WT586)

Yes I Did and I’m Sorry (WT586)


WT 586 Yes I Did and I'm Sorry

Our theme this week is taking responsibility.

It always amazes me how themes arise.

I often hear stories from different people around the same topic.

Here’s a couple of examples:

  1. A worker isn’t performing. The worker fails to produce an expected outcome on time. The supervisor calls a meeting. The worker offers excuses as to why it wasn’t his fault. The supervisor asks, “What’s your 50% in this?” The worker continues blaming circumstances and others. The worker doesn’t seem to understand, that we are all co-creators and that if it’s happening and you’re involved, then you too are responsible.
  2. Watching the TV show, SAS Australia, celebrities are tasked with completing 30 rounds of a number of activities. The staff are not physically watching, however the celebrities do not know that they are being filmed. One of the celebrities only completes 15 rounds instead of 30 for one activity. The Leader asks for anyone who didn’t complete all rounds to step forward. A couple of people step forward. They may have completed 27, 28 or 29 rounds. They can step back. The “cheat” did not own up. The “cheat” did not take responsibility for his actions and made excuses. His actions did not help to create good trusting relationships with the other “team members”.
  3. Elizabeth vents loudly to Cassandra. Elizabeth complains about Margaret not pulling her weight. Cassandra encourages her to confront Margaret. “Oh no, I couldn’t do that. I don’t want to hurt her feelings. I was rather hoping you could have a word to her for me”, replies Elizabeth.

In all three situations, no-one is taking responsibility for their actions. No-one is taking ownership of what needs to be done.

Years ago some friends of ours shared a story about their three sons. They were laughing as they told us about their middle son, we’ll call him Mark. Mark was always up to no good. He would borrow things from his brothers without asking. He crashed his bike. He broke things, however, unlike his brothers, when asked if he was responsible or whether it was he who had done “the thing”, he always answered, “Yes, I did and I’m sorry”. 

“How can you get angry at that?” our friends asked. “At least he is taking responsibility and apologising, unlike his brothers who would look to blame or give excuses.” As it turned out, his brothers got into more trouble for blaming and lying to get out of trouble than Mark did for actually doing the wrong thing.

When it comes to working with people and interacting with your family and friends, who would you rather hang out with; someone who gets into BED with Blame, Excuses and Denial or someone who takes responsibility and says, “Yes I did and I’m sorry?”

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Nobody is Helping (WT575)

Nobody is Helping (WT575)


WT 575 Nobody is helping

We were stopped at the traffic lights on a hot and humid Friday afternoon in Darwin.

“OMG! Ross”, I yelled, “Nobody is helping” as I pointed to a young guy who was laying underneath his motorbike at the traffic lights on the side street to us.

As we were waiting for the lights to turn green I watched in horror as I saw the guy and the bike fall over.

I was stunned that nobody rushed to help.

There was a car in front of him and a car behind him and a long line of traffic.

Our lights turned green and we crossed the intersection and pulled up.

Without thinking, I jumped out of the van and ran to his aid.

Thankfully, by this time another man had appeared to help, amidst the women from the front car who only seemed interested in whether he had damaged their car before taking off.

We got the bike off him and picked the broken pieces up off the road and moved to the grass across the road.

He was shaken but okay.

He was more concerned that it wasn’t his bike.

He mentioned he was the apprentice and was able to call someone to come with a trailer to pick him up.

The other guy on the scene was able to wait with him.

I raced over to the motorhome and got him a bottle of water.

With that we got going.

“Wow, I can’t believe people didn’t rush to help”, I said to Ross.

It really upset me to see people just sitting in their car watching.

I know I’m not supposed to judge. Well that’s a judgement of myself, isn’t it?

It was another sad example of what psychologists call “The Bystander Effect”.

What this means is that if you’re in trouble, you’re better off to have just one other person around because if there are many, they will all stand back, thinking that someone else will help and of course, nobody does.

I’m curious. What would you have done?

Would you have sat in your car or would you have gone to his aid?

No judgement.

P.S. This month’s free online training is scheduled for Friday 16th July at 11:00am Sydney TimeDiscover the Secrets to Finding, Hiring and Keeping the Right People. Click here to register.

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Polite Doesn’t Mean Pushover (WT574)

Polite Doesn’t Mean Pushover (WT574)


WT 574 Polite doesn't mean pushover

I was conducting a recruitment interview for a client today.

I asked the candidate to explain his definition of “Assertive”.

“It’s someone who is quite forceful in getting their way”, he replied.

“Wow”, I thought to myself. “That’s not my definition.”

To be assertive means to be honest and congruent. It means that you get your needs met AND not at the expense of others. In order to get your needs met you need to:

  1. Be aware of your needs
  2. Take responsibility for getting your needs met, and
  3. Use your communication skills (I Messages, Active Listening and Conflict Resolution Skills as examples).

Participants in our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience and Online Membership get to experience this in a number of ways.

There is a difference between being Assertive and Aggressive.

Aggressive people want to win and don’t care if others lose.

Assertive people also want to win, however they look for a win win, to make sure both parties get what they want.

Passive people lose. The give in and hardly ever get what they want.

Passive Aggressive people are the same as aggressive people in that they want to win and don’t care if you lose, however they are not as loud or violent. Rather they are sneaky and manipulative.

Assertive people who use their communication skills are often described as being polite.

Make no mistake, polite doesn’t mean pushover.

Polite people use their manners.

Polite people consider others.

Polite people look for a win win.

There is nothing wimpy about being polite, in fact, being polite can often help you gain support and help from others to get what you want.

Ross found this out when he gave a book to the receptionist at the van park. He took the time to talk with her when we arrived, found out she liked reading books, gave her one to read and add to their swap collection and she’s been very helpful ever since, which she isn’t always with other people.

This week your challenge is to be polite and still go for what you want.

Give it a go and let us know your results.

Polite doesn’t mean pushover.

P.S. Our next face to face Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience will be held in Newcastle, NSW in September 2021. You can find out more by CLICKING ON THIS LINK.

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

If It Was Easy Everyone Would Do It (WT573)

If It Was Easy Everyone Would Do It (WT573)


WT 573 If it was easy everyone would do it

We’re talking about leadership and management of course.

It’s not for everyone. It’s not an easy role to have.

I remember when Ross was promoted to the Site Supervisor’s role. He had no idea how to lead and manage his team.

He did what most new leaders and managers do. He treated his team the way he had been treated in the past.

Working in male dominated heavy industry, he yelled a lot. He swore a lot and he was passive aggressive.

He hadn’t had any training and he would come home to me and tell me about his day.

I would cringe listening to him as he recounted the events of the day and how he treated his team.

I did my best to counsel him and mentor him.

I also strongly suggested that he join my next Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience, which to his credit, he did.

In fact, he has been a participant in 4 of the experiences as well as assisting me in many many more.

The change in him was amazing. He stopped swearing and yelling.

He invested the time to get to know his people. He stood up for them to higher management when needed.

The result. He created a very loyal, very productive and harmonious team.

At Christmas one year they had more work than they had workers and Ross facilitated a team meeting where they collectively created a plan for getting the work done. No surprises they all got to finish at midday Christmas Eve and got to enjoy the holiday period.

Being a leader isn’t easy and it doesn’t come naturally for most.

Leadership skills are skills you can learn and I’m excited to announce that the winner for our 11th year of Weekly Thoughts, and a participant in our next Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience in Newcastle is Annie D.

Congratulations Annie and congratulations to all the entrants. It was a tough decision.

Remember, if it was easy, everyone would do it.

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I Can Put Air In That For You (WT570)

I Can Put Air In That For You (WT570)


WT 570 I can put air in that

This was the offer Ross received the other day when he was chatting with a neighbour in the van park.

Our neighbour had recently bought a motorhome and he and his wife had just begun their journey.

He was asking Ross for some tips and Ross was recounting some of the mistakes and misadventures we’ve made and had along the way.

As they were talking Ross noticed that our front tyre looked like it needed air.

The neighbour offered to use his compressor.

Initially Ross was reluctant, thinking it would be a big imposition for the neighbour to have to pull out what Ross thought would be a big piece of equipment.

The neighbour insisted.

It turned out the compressor was a handheld tool that easily filled the tyre.

As I reflected on this, I realised that this is a great example of what we teach about developing relationships with people.

It doesn’t cost anything to be nice. It doesn’t cost anything, other than a bit of time and your presence to be interested in other people.

In our People modules we encourage you to Know Yourself, Know Others and Develop and Use Your Communication Skills.

One of the best things you can do for yourself is to be friendly toward others. It pays to be interested in them.

It pays to develop relationships and rapport with others, even if only for a short time.

Most people want to help.

Why not strike up a conversation with someone this week and get to know them. If you can help them, even better.

You never know when you might need someone to put air in your tyre.

P.S. Our next free monthly webinar will be held today – Friday 11th June at 11:00am Sydney (AEST) time. This month we’re doing things a little differently. You bring the blank paper and coloured markers and I’ll walk you through my proprietary methodology and at the end you’ll have clarity around your systems, processes and overall workflow . You won’t want to miss this interactive online workshop. You won’t get this training anywhere else. Click on the link to register, even if you can’t attend, you’ll be able to catch the recording.

P.P.S. Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to

No Triangles (WT569)

No Triangles (WT569)


WT 569 No triangels

In our Leading Yourself and Leading Others Experience and Online Membership we have a topic called The Eternal Triangle of Hate.

For some participants, even the name is too much.

“Hate is a very strong word Shirley”, commented Elli.

“Yes, I agree. It is and when we go through this concept you may understand why we use it”, I replied.

What we’re talking about here is the triangle that is formed, in the workplace and at home, when we have at least 3 people playing one of the roles of Victim, Persecutor and Rescuer.

If you draw an upside down triangle, it will make the V sign. At the bottom of the V write the word Victim. The Victim is someone who is seen as helpless; someone who is being Persecuted by a bully and needs Rescuing. The unwritten agreement here is that Victims cannot stand up for themselves and are hard done by.

Why it’s called The Eternal Triangle of Hate is because the roles seem to rotate. The Rescuer becomes the Persecutor, the Persecutor becomes the Victim and the Victim becomes the Rescuer and around and around and around it goes.

The way to stop triangles is to encourage people to go directly to what we call “source”. In this instance, we don’t mean Universal or Higher Intelligence, we mean the person with whom they are in conflict with.

No Triangles means not enlisting another person; not involving another person who can’t solve the problem. No Triangles means we take responsibility for being assertive and having the conversation with the person who has upset us in some way.

To create a culture of No Triangles in your workplace or family or friendship group you need 3 things:

  1. The encouragement and support to go directly to source (you may even make it a rule or an agreement)
  2. The skills to go to source (the skills to be assertive, using I Statements to explain what is going on for you)
  3. An open mind to receive the feedback, if you happen to be the person who is being confronted. Rather than being defensive, be curious. Seek to understand what has happened; seek to understand why your confronter is upset rather than reacting in a defensive way with excuses or counter attacks.

Agreeing to be in relationships where we avoid The Eternal Triangle of Hate is the quickest way to improve relationships, resolve misunderstandings and increase productivity.

What will you do? How will you respond next time you find yourself in a triangle? Will you action the above 3 steps or will you fuel the fire and fan the continuous progression of Persecutor, Victim and Rescuer roles?

One last point – the role of rescuer is also known as a Co-Conspirator because with the Victim, both are conspiring against the Persecutor.

No more triangles.

No more water cooler gossip sessions.

Speak to source!

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